Hollywood actress Julia Roberts poses for a photograph. File/AFP
Gulf Today Report
Some people are quite fortunate in that they have a benefactor to put an end to their woes, specially if it involves education, a trip that could change the person’s life or treating a major medical condition. These benefactors are like guardian angels, promptly coming to their aid, helping them in their hour of dire need, or enabling them to fulfil their dream. A good number prefer to remain anonymous.
This normally happens to underprivileged or needy children. But can a movie star be called underprivileged? Perhaps, especially if they face tough financial times in their childhood, and yes, if it involves someone called Julia Roberts. The actress may be very affluent now, but there was a time when her parents could not afford to pay their hospital bills, particularly when she was born.
But then life is full of surprises and a benefactor came to the rescue. But this was no ordinary individual who helped her parents, but the legendary Martin Luther King Jr and his wife, Coretta Scott King.
The startling revelation was made by Julia Roberts in a TV interview ahead of the 55th birthday of the ‘Pretty Woman,’ according to the Independent.
Martin Luther King Jr speaks during a rally. File/AFP
How did the civil rights stalwart end up paying her hospital bills?
Roberts’ parents had been running a theatre school in Atlanta when they got friendly with the Kings, she said.
Segregation was quite common those days, black children could not attend white schools. So one day Martin Luther King’s wife called Roberts’ mother and asked her if her children could be part of her school because they were having a hard time gaining admission owing to racial issues.
“My mom was like, ‘Sure, come on over,’ and so they all just became friends, and they helped us out of a jam,” she added, ending her story.
Gayle responded by hailing the Roberts’ act as “extraordinary” because people didn’t see “little black children interacting with little white kids in acting school” at the time.
Zara Rahim, a former strategic adviser for Barack Obama, shared a video on Twitter on Friday to commemorate Roberts' birthday, noting the King family's influence in her life.
In addition to acting, Roberts runs the production company Red Om Films, through which she has served as an executive producer for various projects she has starred in, as well as for the first four films of the American Girl franchise (2004 — 2008).
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